- Courtesy Of Matthew Frates Photography
- Cocktails at Au Comptoir
Woodstock has a new place to meet au comptoir — "at the bar." Zoe Zilian opened the Dutch door of her quaint village cocktail spot at 4 Mechanic Street on August 10. Inspired by Zilian's travels in Europe, Au Comptoir offers a mix of classic cocktails and seasonal, original recipes featuring fresh-pressed juices and housemade syrups and infusions.
Zilian, who founded Woodstock's Farmhouse Pottery, has had her eye on a 1915 building in town for a decade. She jumped on it when it became available last year after a stint as an ice cream shop.
"I was planning to offer interior design services and products but thought, Gosh, Woodstock doesn't need more of that. It needs a bar," Zilian said.
She envisioned Au Comptoir as a laid-back, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood spot with "a little bit of class and character to it." That vision came to life with exposed beams, vintage veneer brick flooring and reclaimed wood from an old Vermont barn.
The bar's fresh ingredients translate to a robust menu of mocktails and cocktails. The Royal Heiress is a booze-free take on the Royal Fizz — a vodka-based sour made with egg white foam, blueberry syrup, lemon juice, lemongrass bitters and elderflower liqueur.
"It's a beautiful, rich, tall, purple, foamy drink," said Nicholas Capanna, Au Comptoir's bar director, who also works as a cocktail consultant and spirits educator. "And the mocktail rivals the cocktail."
Au Comptoir serves organic and biodynamic European wines and local craft beer and cider in cans and bottles. Small bites range from Bonilla a la Vista potato chips to housemade French onion dip to American sturgeon caviar.
"Vermont offers a lot of farm-to-table, which is beautiful," Zilian said. "I wanted to do something slightly different."